Alternative Project Strategies
The fundamental aim of the 5AT Project was to ensure the continuation of steam locomotive development.
In preparing the Feasibility Study for the 5AT Project, the 5AT Group looked at several possible locomotive developments that might have evolved from the 5AT design. Perhaps the most immediately attractive of these was an 8AT 2-8-0 that could have been used for heavier haulage than the 5AT and an 8ATT 2-8-4T that might have proved viable for tourist railways and short-haul main line work. Both these projected locomotives could have incorporated components of the 5AT while omitting some of the more refined aspects of the design required for high speed operation.
For the longer term, one of the Appendices to the Feasibility Study looked in detail at the possibilities for developing a steam locomotive that matched the performance of the ubiquitous EMD Class 66. The proposals included the use of 6 powered axles mounted on articulated frames though otherwise bearing no resemblance to Bulleid’s ill-fated Leader steam locomotive design of the late 1940s.
At the time the project was suspended, it was considered likely that the 8AT or 8ATT might have made a better business proposition than the 5AT.